By admin | January 8, 2009
By Richard Allen
Over the next few days and weeks I will be presenting a review of 2008 and a preview of 2009 for each of the drivers and teams who appear to be set for a full time run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the most part these pieces will run in order by car number. If you should miss out on your favorite driver simply type his name into the search box at the upper right hand portion of the website.
#11- Denny Hamlin
There should be an easy transition from last year to this for Denny Hamlin. There have been no significant changes in his Joe Gibbs Racing team over the off season. With the virtual elimination of testing this should be a good thing for the Fed Ex team. In Hamlin’s 4th full season with JGR he and his crew should be familiar enough with each other that there should be no unforeseen issues.
Even with having qualified for the Chase for the Championship, 2008 must have seemed a bit frustrating. Hamlin won a race in Martinsville but seemed to look like a potential winner on numerous occasions only to have various problems drop him from contention.
In Richmond, for example, the #11 car completely dominated only to cut a tire with less than 20 laps to go. In all, Hamlin had the one win in Martinsville, 12 Top 5 and 18 Top 10 finishes in 2008. The number of Top 5 and Top 10 results show this is a very strong team.
This team will likely be a solid contender throughout the 2009 season. The one question mark they had coming into last season was the unknown capability of Toyota. That question was answered resoundingly last year, except for during Chase time.
Look for Denny Hamlin to win multiple races in the coming season and to be near the top of the standings by the close of the ‘regular season’. Veteran crew chief Mike Ford and the rest of the crew make up a very solid team.
Driver: Denny Hamlin
Owner: Joe Gibbs Racing
Sponsor: Fed Ex
Crew Chief: Mike Ford
Scanner Frequencies(?): 467.4750 & 462.4250
Chances of making the Chase for the Championship: Very good
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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